Person of Interest: American Psycho

By Tim Surette

Oct 14, 2011

Wow! I bet fans of normal procedurals were FURIOUS at the ambiguous ending of last night's Person of Interest. But if the new CBS series wants to keep this person's interest, it's going to have to keep doing such things as a means of separating itself from more neatly wrapped-up procedurals. So far, so good.

This week the computer box spit out the social security number of a pretty young doctor, played by pretty young Linda Cardellini of ER fame—though you really should know her as Lindsay from Freaks and Geeks. Man, I had a mountain-sized crush on her! Anyway, her character was a doc by day and a clubber by night, and Reese suspected she was being stalked by a handsome sexual predator, a la American Psycho. He was half right; as is becoming typical for Person of Interest, we found out things weren't as they seemed. It turned out she was stalking him because he'd raped her sister in college, which led her sis to commit suicide, and she wanted to dissolve his body with lye in her vacation home near the ocean. Sweet revenge!

And thus the thinking man's question for the episode was born: Is vengeance worth it if it will irreparably change your life for the worse? Here we had a young doctor with a bright future who didn't know what she was getting herself into. If she were to murder that Patrick Bateman-ish dude, she'd feel good for about five minutes before the blood on her hands started haunting her. At least, that was Reese's take.

The meat of the story came with Reese's determination not to let someone else walk the same path he did, which ended with him becoming a smelly bum on the subway. And at the end of the episode it became painfully obvious that he's not happy with his choices and still wonders whether he can change, or whether it's too late. He wants to think it isn't, but sadly, deep down he realizes that it is, no matter how many People of Interest he rescues or puts away. So when Reese asked the serial rapist to help him make a good decision and the show cut to black, we weren't not finding out whether Reese killed him, we were seeing a visual representation of Reese's internal struggle. That cut to black said he's not sure what kind of man he is, and we may never know. Person of Interest is, like, surprisingly deep, man. I really liked that ending, because it got me thinking.

I had expected a little more flashback-story on either Reese or Finch, but instead we saw a lot of Reese internally delving into his own past. There weren't any details, but it was just as effective to see the cracks begin to surface on the facade of our robotic anti-hero. Reese's vulnerability was also revealed in the flashback in last week's episode ("I'll wait for you." Poor guy!). We're slowly getting to know the mysterious Reese, and frankly, I'm on board with this gradual layer-peeling. He may tromp around New York City punching people in the face, but there's a soft center beneath that hardened exterior.

Surveillance Notes:

– Still not buying Taraji P. Henson as Detective Carter. But it's a good thing that Lionel is working with her now; that'll help combine these threads.

– "Which do you think I'll regret more, letting you live or letting you die?" YEAH REESE!

– Finch to Reese, regarding the topic of using lye to dissolve a body: "I will refrain from asking how you know that." YEAH FINCH!

– This show could just be Reese walking around New York City causing mayhem, and I'd still watch. It hasn't gotten old yet, even though the action's been dialed down a bit.

What did you think of the fade-to-black ending? What do you think Reese ended up doing? What would YOU have done?

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • NeeUyank Oct 20, 2011

    I loved the ending and I love the series.. especially the characters are so unique in their own ways, and I love that we try to figure out what the crime will be as well as who the criminal is within an episode, it gives a fresh alternetive to standard cop procedurals.. and for this specific episode, apart from the ending, especially the part where Carter confronted Finch and Finch replied in a very very convincing, calm manner was fantastic.. it gets better every week.. btw, what does cure te ipsum mean?

  • Rangereh Oct 22, 2011

    It translates as heal yourself, as in "physician, Heal yourself"

  • Kuro_Neko- Oct 17, 2011

    Loved the ending. Unfortunately, considering how careful the writers have been up to this point about Reese not killing anyone, I doubt they'd have the guts to have him kill this guy. But hey, they surprised me with this ambiguous ending so maybe they'll surprise me with Reese's decision.

  • BethColson Oct 17, 2011

    Finally....a show without all the "fluff", it's raw and not over thought. I really enjoy the fact that I cannot anticipate the twists and turns!! Nothing like Person of Interest on TV. BEST NEW DRAMA, HANDS DOWN...I LOVE IT AND I AM HOOKED!!!!!

  • angelust34 Oct 17, 2011

    I'm more in love with this show every week I just love it and in my opinion it's the best fall show easily.

  • MooncalfReviews Oct 16, 2011

    He isn't going to kill him. The writers don't have enough guts for that.

  • ExodusPenguin Oct 16, 2011

    Amazing ending! Reminded me of Justified. I really hope the show makes more decisions like that in the future or the cases of the week could get boring. It's so much stronger when the characters are more involved.

    Each episode has improved from the one before it.

  • Escobar1987 Oct 16, 2011

    At first i thought Reese was just playing psychological games on the guy to keep him from hurting other women. But the more i watched i realised Reese was genuinely conflicted on whether he was going to kill this guy which hit home just how scary a guy Reese really is. I can only guess what happened to that guy but id say things don't look good for him.

  • CarsonGallo Oct 16, 2011

    I Loved the ending. I even said to myself right after it was over, "Great Ending!"

  • bluemystique Oct 16, 2011

    I loved it! the ending fit the character. He isn't necessairly a "good guy" and he isn't necessairly a "bad guy" it could honest to goodness go either way with whether or not he killed the guy and that is what made it so awesome! They could have tried that with someone else but the fact that we've come to see that Reese is that morally ambiguous and compromised left that ending to be perfect!

    Yeah. I love Tariji P. Henson. Not so enthused with Det.Carter. Hopefully with the new addition things will be better.

    Also LOVE the camraderie and witticisms between Finch and Reese.

  • darkitp Oct 16, 2011

    he is in the doctors house and he have those dissolving chemicals

    so why it should be wasted ?

    " when an opportunity strikes , you grab it by devils horn ! "

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